After graduating from Gannon University in Pennsylvania, USA, Richard Deuink travelled to South Africa to meet his grandparents and extended family. His mother was born outside Witbank (now called Emalahleni) in Mpumalanga and lived there until the age of seven and following World War II, she emigrated to the USA with her new husband, while her family returned to South Africa from the United Kingdom.
This short visit turned into a three year stay in Africa that saw Richard working for De Beers Diamonds, based in Oranjemund in Namibia. 1977, he returned to the USA to begin his post-graduate education in Sociology, graduating from the State University of New York at Albany in 1978 and moving on to a PhD programme from there.
Preferring a family life and a job to academia, he married and began a career, first within State government, then with the Federal government, where he worked for 30 years in the Baltimore – Washington DC corridor.
Having spent his entire working career in government service in the USA, he returns to his roots in Africa as an ambassador for Breadline Africa. He explains that he had the privilege of knowing one of the organisation’s founders, Frances Greathead, and spoke with her several times about its mission, adding that he could think of few more important contributors to the lives of South Africa’s young people.
“Breadline Africa has stepped up admirably by offering practical solutions to communities in need of educational facilities from where services can be based and made real,” he says.